Harper's Bazaar Appoints Samira Nasr as Its First-Ever Black Editor-in-Chief

"At this particular moment in our nation's history, I am honored to be at the helm of such an iconic brand," the former Vanity Fair fashion director said of her new role

Samira Nasr
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

It's the beginning of a new era at Harper’s Bazaar.

On Tuesday, Hearst Magazines — the media company under which the fashion brand is housed — named former Vanity Fair fashion director Samira Nasr the new editor-in-chief of the US edition of Harper's Bazaar.

Nasr will begin her new role on July 6, replacing longtime editor Glenda Bailey (who announced she was stepping down in January) as the first black editor-in-chief in the history of the 153-year-old publication.

The Montreal native made the announcement in an Instagram video earlier this week, reflecting on the career milestone and sharing that she hopes to highlight this generation’s most diverse and "inspiring voices" in her new position.

“Hi everyone, my name is Samira Nasr and I’m excited to introduce myself to you as the new editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar,” Nasr said. “At this particular moment in our nation’s history, I am honored to be at the helm of such an iconic brand.”

"As the proud daughter of a Lebanese father and Trinidadian mother, my worldview is expansive and is anchored in the belief that representation matters," she continued. "My lens by nature is colorful, and so it is important to me to begin a new chapter in Bazaar's history by shining a light on all individuals who I believe are the inspiring voices of our time."

Nasr — who was the fashion director of ELLE for five years (another Hearst-owned publication) before joining Radhika Jones's Vanity Fair in 2018 (at Condé Nast) — also addressed those currently fighting on the frontlines against racial injustice and policy brutality: “I see you, I thank you and I hope we can join forces to amplify the message of equality because Black Lives Matter.”

She also acknowledged how fashion is a significant element of culture: “Great style is about more than the way we wear our clothes — it is also how we see and occupy space in the world around us," adding that she is honored to join one of the industry’s most respected publications at this historic moment in time.

Nasr, who unlike Bailey only oversaw its print version, will run the brand's website and magazine. "It is a thrilling challenge to be in a position to reimagine what a fashion magazine can be in today’s world," Nasr said. "And I know that this position places me at a particular intersection that I do not take lightly. I cannot wait to get started and I look forward to this new beginning with you,” she concluded.

Samira Nasr
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Nasr’s many famous friends and colleagues — including Tracee Ellis Ross, Hailey Bieber, Yara Shahidi, Instagram's Eva Chen, InStyle's Laura Brown and Project Runway's Elaine Welteroth — congratulated her on Instagram.

"SAMIRAAAAAAAAA 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽this is LONG overdue👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽This message is beautiful, as are you, as is your work that is about to make our lives even brighter. The biggest CONGRATS to YOU, sis!!!!” Welteroth, former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief and current Project Runway judge wrote in a comment on Nasr's post. While Shahidi added, “INCREDIBLE ⭐️⚡️ YOU ARE A LIGHT."

In a statement published by Bazaar, Nasr further explained how she plans to continue the brand’s boundary-breaking legacy while focusing on diversity and inclusion.

“Fashion and Bazaar are synonymous,” she said. “It is a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with moving this legacy brand into a new era — one that is colorful, inclusive and celebrates the beauty of fashion on every platform — while carrying on the tradition of innovative art direction and great style that the Bazaar audience loves so much. The most beautiful part of working in magazines is the teamwork and creating a community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Hearst Magazines President Troy Young said in a statement: “Harper’s Bazaar is a leading American fashion brand with a point of view that is hugely influential in the U.S. and around the world. Samira’s important voice will continue to evolve the brand’s distinct position as a style touchstone for fashion’s most discerning.”

Nasr currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her 7-year-old son.

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